France at the time of economic choice

The ballot box was spoken. In the first round of the French presidential election, Emmanuel Macron won 27.84%, Marine Le Pen 23.15%, Jean-Luc Melenchon 21.95%, Eric Zemmour 7.07% and Valérie Pécrès 4.78%. Two candidates on the list, Macron and Le Pen, are currently preparing for the second round of the election. The economic programs of the two candidates diverge based on the answers given to the country’s economic challenges, but come together by evoking the same challenges. In fact, the French economy faces the same challenges, regardless of the candidates elected for the next five-year term. This is, in fact, due to its structural situation.

First, France is a country that is not aging faster than other European countries due to its high fertility rate. Indeed, France has almost 20% of the population over the age of 65. Other countries are certainly old: Japan is 27%, Italy is 23%, Greece and Germany are 22%, but France is still the 10th oldest country in the world. It is Europe’s highest birth rate that delays France’s aging, with 1.9 children per woman, while the European Union and Germany average 1.6. Sure, France isn’t aging faster than other European countries, but it’s all aging as well. This returns the debate to the inevitable issue of retirement: how old are you? How much does it cost to raise money?

Emmanuel Macron has announced a transition from retirement from age 62 to age 65. This is gradual and will continue until 2034. Therefore, the first generation to retire at the age of 65 is the generation born in 1969. He later softened his stance during the campaign and announced that he could renegotiate this and eventually reach the age of 64. ..

On her side, Marine Le Pen announced a while ago that she would return to retirement at age 60, but she was committed to the final program to maintain retirement at her current level of 62. rice field. The second major issue facing France and of great interest to the French is the issue of taxation. why ? France is a tax world champion. Tax revenues and social security contributions make up 46% of France’s GDP and are ranked at the top of the European Union and the top of OECD countries. The European Union has 40.2%, Germany has 40.5%, the OECD has 34%, and the United States has 27%.

Not only is the tax burden on both households and businesses high, but the finances are so much indebted that it won’t go down anytime soon. With public debt accounting for 116% of GDP in 2021, France ranks seventh in the world’s 23 most advanced economies. By comparison, the euro area is 98% and Germany is 70%. Therefore, France will not be able to reduce the fiscal pressure to keep the debt consolidation trajectory. This is why taxation questions are an important issue in the economic programs of the two candidates.

The two candidates come together by naturally promising a tax cut to the French – otherwise it’s hard to be elected! However, the means to achieve this are different. Emmanuel Macron promises to raise the tax exemption limit for inheritance, eliminate audiovisual taxes for TV owners, and reduce production taxes to improve corporate competitiveness. Marine Le Pen promises to unconditionally abolish the income tax for young people under the age of 30. It wants to privatize public audiovisual poles. Finally, Macron abolished the wealth tax established by his predecessor François Hollande and converted it into property tax, but Marine Le Pen, if she was elected, would convert it into a financial asset. I want to convert it to tax.

Purchasing power emerged as a major concern for French people during this campaign in a situation characterized by inflation peaking at 7.5% in the euro area and 5.1% in France. Marine Le Pen promises to increase the purchasing power of French people by 200 euros a month. How ? By reducing the VAT of 100 sanitary and food from 5.5% to 0%, and by reducing the VAT of energy (gas, kerosene, electricity, fuel) from 20% to 5.5%, by re-nationalizing the highway By reducing the social security contributions paid by employers, which is 15% according to the candidate, and allowing employees to increase their salaries. Meanwhile, Emmanuel Macron promises to triple the amount of annual bonuses employers can pay employees for free or tax-free and develop a new employee profit sharing mechanism for the benefit of the company. To do.

Energy policy is finally the last major economic division between the two candidates. Macron promotes a mix of nuclear and renewable energies, and Le Pen is particularly interested in nuclear power. In reality, Macron was hesitant to deal with nuclear power at the beginning of his mission, but he took his position because by 2050 France could only achieve carbon neutrality with nuclear power. I’ve changed. ) And all possible installations to maintain functionality for over 50 years.

In terms of renewable energy, he promises to multiply solar power by 10 times and build about 50 wind farms. For Le Pen, only nuclear power can meet France’s energy needs. She has promised to start construction of 10 new reactors. For renewable energy, she opposes wind power and proposes a moratorium of subsidies for wind turbines and the dismantling of existing fleets. She also states in its program that he is interested in the development of the hydrogen and hydropower sector.
What is the French program for the next 5 years? Please answer sharply at 8 pm on Sunday, April 24th.

By Omar Fassall

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